GPhA Statement on Patent Settlements

GPhA Statement on Patent Settlements
Contact: Michele Robinson 703-647-2495

March 17, 2010, Arlington, VA...The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) today issued the following statement from Kathleen Jaeger, President and CEO of GPhA, on the elimination of the patent settlement ban from the pending House health reform bill:

"It is our understanding that the health care reform bill pending in the House no longer contains a ban on patent settlements. If true, that's good news for American consumers who are increasingly turning to generic medicines to improve their health at affordable costs. Given that generics save the health care system one billion dollars every three days, there is no doubt that increasing access to affordable generic medicines will significantly reduce our nation's overall health care costs.

"Imposing a ban on patent settlements would have the unintended consequence of preventing pro-consumer settlements that would actually allow generic competition sooner than if the generic company had taken the case to its conclusion and lost-always a possibility in patent litigation. Sweeping the good settlements out with the bad settlements is simply bad health policy and a misguided approach to cost containment. Such an across-the-board ban would reduce the number of patent challenges brought by generics, creating an unnecessary hurdle to bringing lower cost generic drugs to the market.

"Over the past 20 years, generic manufacturers have undertaken numerous patent challenge, prompted by the 180-day exclusivity incentive under Hatch-Waxman. Successful patent challenges have generated tens of billions of dollars in savings for American consumers and only a small number have involved litigation settlements between the brand and generic companies. An outright ban on settlements as a means of resolving patent litigation would stifle competition from generics, denying patients access to affordable medicines and reducing overall cost savings from generics."

Attached to this statement find four documents including two Wall Street reports, what experts are saying about patent settlements and what some legal experts are saying about patent settlements.

GPhA represents the manufacturers and distributors of finished generic pharmaceuticals, manufacturers and distributors of bulk active pharmaceutical chemicals and suppliers of other goods and services to the generic drug industry. Generics represent 74 percent of the total prescriptions dispensed in the United States but only 22 percent of all dollars spent on prescription drugs. For more information about the industry, visit www.gpahonline.org.

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